Environmental Finance Center Grants

The Environmental Finance Center Grant Program provides funding to support Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) that provide multi-media environmental finance expertise and outreach to the regulated communities.

The EFCs work with state and tribal governments, local governments, and the private

credit: Constantine Alexander Blog
sector to address the growing costs of environmental protection.

The EFCs provide finance-related training, education, and analytical studies to help these regulated parties develop solutions to the difficult 'how-to-pay' issues associated with meeting environmental standards.

The EFCs educate state, tribal, and local governments and businesses on lowering environmental costs, increasing environmental investments, improving financial capacity, encouraging full cost pricing, and identifying and evaluating environmental financing options.

A central goal of the EFCs is to create sustainable systems.

Sustainable systems have the financial, technical, and institutional resources and capabilities to operate in compliance with environmental requirements and in conformance with accepted environmental practices over the long term.

EFCs focus on helping smaller parties find ways to obtain financing for their environmental protection responsibilities.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2016: Providing education, training, technical assistance, and analytic support and outreach to state, tribal and local governments and businesses (with a focus on smaller governments and businesses) on: Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2016: Providing education, training, technical assistance, and analytic support and outreach to state, tribal and local governments and businesses (with a focus on smaller governments and businesses) on: (1) identifying, developing, and applying tools and strategies to determine and estimate the benefits of coastal wetlands; (2) expanding environmental education in support of community-based environmental stewardship, sustainable materials management, and green infrastructure (3) continuing to support certification programs and activities integrating planning, sustainability, citizen participation and partnerships, green design, land use and transportation, natural resources, agricultural viability, water quality, finance, health and wellness, waste reduction and management, and many other environmental areas; (4) developing, refining, updating and testing web-based analytic models used for rate setting, capital planning, capacity assessment, asset management, and other financial tools and analyses needed for sound water and wastewater utility management; (5) building the capacity of communities to address urban environmental issues in areas such as transportation, improved community design, and multifamily residential housing in ways that are environmentally and economically sustainable and promote environmental justice; (6) identifying, developing, testing, educating, and supporting the use of green infrastructure approaches in addressing storm water management challenges in communities across the country; (7) educating municipal utility managers in areas such as finance, risk management, project management, planning, regulatory needs, customer service, personnel management and public/customer relations; and (8) working in partnership with community development/support organizations to identify, develop, and pilot marketing, finance and business plans for commercial composting operations to help cleanup neighborhoods and reduce illegal dumping.

Funding Priority 2017

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2017: Providing education, training, technical assistance, and analytic support and outreach to state, tribal and local governments and businesses (with a focus on smaller governments and businesses) on: (1) supporting cleaner/greener business through source reduction, pollution prevention, conservation, resource recovery, reuse, and recycling (sustainable materials management); (2) promoting environmentally sustainable development, redevelopment, smart growth and land use planning; green infrastructure approaches; and green building efforts by state and local governments and the private sector; (3) supporting wetlands programs and protection; (4) improving drinking water and wastewater utility water conservation, energy efficiency, management, and capital planning; (5) encouraging green jobs and green business products and services; (6) promoting innovative ways to finance and otherwise support interstate, state, regional, and local air pollution reduction efforts; (7) assisting the owners and operators of small, medium, and disadvantaged environmental systems in planning, developing, and obtaining financing for infrastructure projects; (8) developing fiscal sustainability plans for utilities that include inventories of critical assets, evaluations asset performance, energy conservation efforts, operations, maintenance and repair needs and activities, and any required certifications; (9) reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and developing decision tools and financial strategies for adaptation to adverse weather events and/or climate change.; (10) identifying, supporting and advancing environmental equity and justice concerns, where appropriate, in all training, outreach, projects, programs, and activities; and, (11) encouraging the development and use of public-private partnerships, where appropriate in providing environmental services, infrastructure, projects, and activities.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: In FY 2016, EPA funded eight university-based and one non-profit based Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) covering nine EPA Regions located across the nation.

Each participating university and non-profit base will operated as an EFC or EFCs that provided technical assistance and outreach services to the regulated communities (States, tribal, local governments and businesses).

The EFCs will continue to provide finance-related training, education, and analytical studies to help these regulated parties develop solutions to the difficult 'how-to-pay' issues associated with meeting environmental standards.

The EFCs educate state, tribal, and local governments and businesses on lowering environmental costs, increasing environmental investments, improving financial capacity, encouraging full cost pricing, and identifying and evaluating environmental financing options.

Fiscal Year 2017: In FY 2017, EPA anticipates funding eight university-based and two non-profit based Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) covering ten EPA Regions located across the nation.

Each participating university and non-profit base will operate an EFC or EFCs that will provide technical assistance and outreach services to the regulated communities (States, tribal, local governments and businesses).

The EFCs will provide finance-related training, education, and analytical studies to help these regulated parties develop solutions to the difficult 'how-to-pay' issues associated with meeting environmental standards.

The EFCs educate state, tribal, and local governments and businesses on lowering environmental costs, increasing environmental investments, improving financial capacity, encouraging full cost pricing, and identifying and evaluating environmental financing options.

Fiscal Year 2018: NA.


Agency - Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

EPA encourages potential applicants to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog and the Headquarters program contacts listed below.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Dominican University Of California $ 165,000   2012-07-012013-06-30
Cleveland State University $ 190,000   2012-04-012013-03-31
Dominican University Of California $ 190,000   2011-07-012012-06-30
Dominican University Of California $ 190,000   2010-08-012011-11-30
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: n FY 2016, nine (eight university-base and one nonprofit-based) Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) worked with state, tribal, and local governments as well as the private sector in developing and implementing a range of creative, responsible, and sustainable solutions to existing and new environmental challenges. In this first year of the new EFC grant award period, five of the eight grantees operating EFCs under the previous grant award were awarded funding and four new grantees were awarded funding and began operating as EFCs. EFC accomplishments in FY 2016 included: (1) University of Southern Maine EFC - (1) facilitating a series of three workshops on implementing a stormwater financing program in the Narragansett Bay that presented the components of a good stormwater feasibility study, examined ways to gain community acceptance and build political support, looked at options for reducing costs and leveraging innovative financing, and shared ways to build successful partnerships; (2) Syracuse University EFC - building stakeholder partnerships in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico to strengthen and develop regional marine debris protection (trash free waters) and providing climate resiliency training on issues including watershed management, strengthening infrastructure for flood protection, financing resiliency, and storm water asset management planning; (3) University of Maryland EFC ? implementing and expanding the Sustainable Maryland Certified program that helps Maryland municipalities to find cost-effective and strategic ways to protect their natural assets and revitalize their communities, and developing a Municipal Online Stormwater Training (MOST) Center that provides communities with access to needed storm water management technical and financial resources through a comprehensive and interactive online training program; (4) University of North Carolina EFC - comparing the financial structures and outcomes of alternative water service delivery models (including public-private partnerships) in nine communities across the country, and assisting EPA WaterCARE communities in developing sustainable financing strategies to address the challenges of aging water infrastructure; (5) Michigan Technological University EFC - staffing and standing up a new center that will focus on providing financial technical assistance on water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure issues especially for small and rural communities; (6) University of New Mexico EFC - delivering technical, managerial, and financial capacity building training for small water systems covering important topics such as water loss control, asset management, and operator certifications and providing needed financial planning support to EPA WaterCARE communities; (7) Wichita State University EFC - performing energy assessments for small to medium sized wastewater treatment plants across the state of Kansas identifying substantial energy reduction opportunities and significant cost savings, and implementing an educational and training program designed to stimulate the interest of high school students in the career opportunities in the water and wastewater industry; (8) California State University at Sacramento (Sacramento State) - staffing and standing up a new EFC that looks to provide cost-effective solutions to protecting public health and the environment focusing on stormwater management, sustainable utility operations, solid and hazardous waste management and tribal communities; and (9) Rural Community Assistance Corporation - Standing up a new EFC that will focus on providing infrastructure financial education to tribal communities, creating map-based tools for asset management, and developing financial analysis that incorporates cultural concerns when comparing adapt-in-place costs to relocation costs for infrastructure. Fiscal Year 2017: n FY 2017, EPA will fund (eight university-based and two non-profit based) Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) covering ten EPA Regions located across the nation. Each participating EFCs will provide technical assistance and outreach services to the regulated communities (States, tribal, local governments and businesses). The EFCs will provide finance-related training, education, and analytical studies to help these regulated parties develop solutions to the difficult 'how-to-pay' issues associated with meeting environmental standards. The EFCs educate state, tribal, and local governments and businesses on lowering environmental costs, increasing environmental investments, improving financial capacity, encouraging full cost pricing, and identifying and evaluating environmental financing options. Fiscal Year 2018: NA.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants and cooperative agreements are available to recipients to support their allowable direct costs incident to approved environmental financial technical assistance and outreach work plus allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

EPA provides incremental funding for these grants or cooperative agreements on an annual basis.

As part of EPA's substantial involvement, the appropriate EPA regional and/or headquarters office reviews and approves each annual project phase consistent with the scope of work for the grant or cooperative agreement. As provided in 2 CFR Part 220, recipients of grants or cooperative agreements under this program may not charge fundraising costs to their grants or cooperative agreements.

Funding for research under this program does not include research within the purview of EPA's Office or Research and Development.

Under this program, EPA does not fund research, training, and technical assistance to facilitate the inventory of brownfields sites, site assessments, the remediation of brownfields sites, community involvement, and site preparation.

These activities are covered by the EPA grant program established at CFDA 66.814.

Assistance agreement awards under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information.

Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website: https://www.epa.gov/geospatial. Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to adopt and enforce policies that ban text messaging while driving company-owned or -rented vehicles or government-owned vehicles, or while driving privately-owned vehicles when on official government business or when performing any work for or on behalf of the government.

Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to conduct initiatives of the type described in section 3(a) of the Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving Executive Order that was signed on October 1, 2009.

Generally this program makes Federal awards on a discretionary basis.

For further information, please contact the Headquarters or regional office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Assistance under this program is available to public and private non-profit universities and colleges and to nonprofit organizations.

For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA description, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.

Beneficiary Eligibility

States, tribes, local governments, businesses and community organizations and the general public are the beneficiaries of this program.

Credentials/Documentation

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet eligibility requirements. In addition, EPA may request applicants to demonstrate that they have the appropriate background, academic training, experience in the field, and necessary staff and equipment to carry out the project work. The Agency may also ask principal analysts named in applicants' proposals to provide curriculum vitae and other documentation of relevant experience. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement.

For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed as 'Information Contacts' or see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Information on the EPA grant package can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ogd/grants/how_to_apply.htm. For competitive awards, announcements for competitive funding opportunities will specify application procedures. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through http://www.grants.gov. Requests for application kits must be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division, 3903R, Washington, DC 20460 or to the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Award Procedures

For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Clean Water Act, Section 104(b)(3); Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442(c)(3) & 14, U.S.C 1420; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001(a); Toxics Substances Control Act, Section 10; Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20; Clean Air Act, Section 103(b)(3); Clean Water Act, Section 104(b)(3);.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 120 to 180 days.

Appeals

Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as 'Information Contacts.' Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 2 CFR 1500 Subpart E, as applicable.

Renewals

Annually, subject to the budget and project periods specified in the awards.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: This program does not have a statutory or regulatory formula or matching requirement. The Agency may, as a matter of policy, require cost sharing when such a requirement is specified in the announcement of the competitive funding opportunity. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

EPA normally funds grants and cooperative agreements on a 12-month basis. However, EPA can negotiate the project period with each applicant based on project requirements. The project period for the grants or cooperative agreements may range up to seven years. EPA will provide incremental funding for the cooperative agreements each fiscal year (on a 12-month basis) over the duration of the grants or cooperative agreements. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Annual lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

A final program or technical report shall be completed within 90 calendar days of the completion of the period performance for each award.

No cash reports are required.

Quarterly Progress Reports may be required as determined by EPA after the award.

Quarterly Expenditure Reports may be required as determined by EPA after the award.

Quarterly Performance Monitoring may be required as determined by EPA after the award.

No cash reports are required.

Quarterly Progress Reports may be required as determined by EPA after the award.

Thkey may be required.

Quarterly Performance Monitoring may be required as determined by EPA after the award.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year.

Records

The record retention requirements of 2 CFR 200 (nonprofits and universities) apply. Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes to each grant must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained for three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those brought up in an audit, related records must be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0108-0-1-304.

Obigations

(Cooperative Agreements) FY 16 $1,825,000; FY 17 est $1,000,000; and FY 18 est $0 - FY 16 $1,825,000; FY 17 est. $1,000,000; FY 18 est. $0.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range: $111,111 to $465,000/fiscal year Average: Approximately $202,777/fiscal year.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

These grants and cooperative agreements are subject to EPA's General Grant regulations (40 CFR Part 30, 'Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education). Costs for educational institutions will be determined in accordance with 2 CFR Part 220 (OMB Circular No. A-21). Information pertinent to the EFC grant program can be found at www.epa.gov/envirofinance/efcn.html. Written materials on the program can be obtained by calling Timothy McProuty at (202) 564-4996.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. EPA encourages potential applicants to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog and the Headquarters program contacts listed below.

Headquarters Office

Alecia Crichlow For information on grants applications and procedures, contact: Environmental Protection Agency, Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division, 3903R, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460. For program information, contact: Alecia F. Crichlow, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Water Infrastructure & Resiliency Finance Center, Mailcode 4201T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20460, E-Mail: crichlow.alecia@epa.gov, Phone: (202) 564-5188 Fax: (202) 564-2587 , Washington, District of Columbia 20460 Email: crichlow.alecia@epa.gov Phone: (202) 564-5188.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the announcement of the competitive funding opportunity.


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